Book Review: Missed Connections

24Apr13

connections

Title: Missed Connections

Author / Illustrator: Sophie Blackall

Genre: Graphic novel

Length: 128 pages

Library: Northland Public Library

Challenge: Graphic Novel 2013 Challenge

Summary: An artist gets the brilliant idea to illustrate scenes drawn from the “Missed Connections” section of Craigslist.

Analysis

Great ideas always seem so obvious in retrospect, don’t they? Blackall became enamored of the rich pageant of wistful that is “Missed Connections,” and started drawing pictures inspired by the stories she found there. Once these stories made their way to the magical internet via Blackall’s blog, fame and print publication must’ve seemed inevitable: after all, who doesn’t love a good love story, fetchingly illustrated?

And these illustrations are, quite frankly, adorable without being cloying. The lines are simple, the curves round, open, generous. Blackall cleverly injects notes of magical realism into the images, playing with the text of the missed connection itself to capture the heart-stopping magic that happens when you see somebody gorgeous in public you can’t bring yourself to talk to. Bears, bicycles, wings, hipster mustaches, librarian glasses, funny coats and hats, and, memorably, some butterflies that put the viewer in mind of Mario Vargas Llosa. Little slices of life, precious because they are brief, magical because they are–mostly–unrealized, done in colors that aren’t quite pastels (too vivid) but not quite jewel tones (too airy). The overall effect is dreamy and stunning–urban and fantastic, without being “urban fantasy”– and definitely worth the hour you’ll spend leafing through the pages.

Recommended for: “Missed Connections” addicts, anybody who needs a smile break, anyone besotted with New York City, fans of quirky art, anybody who’s ever knitted on a subway train, sported a handlebar mustache, or worn one of those fuzzy knitted hats.

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